The Gibbs & Cox designed littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) pictured April 28, 2015, in the Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy Photo

Leidos to Acquire Famed Naval Architecture Firm Gibbs & Cox for $380 Million

Mike Schuler
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February 25, 2021

Defense contractor Leidos (NYSE: LDOS) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire U.S.-based naval architecture firm Gibbs & Cox for $380 million in cash.

The acquisition was revealed this week in Leidos Holdings’ fourth quarter and full-year earnings release. The Reston Virginia-based company employees 38,000 people and specializes in information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services for the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. It reported revenues $12.3 billion in 2020.

With 525 employees and a history dating back 90 years, Arlington, Virginia-based Gibbs & Cox is a leading full-service independent engineering and design firm specializing in naval architecture and marine engineering. The company is privately owned, led by Chris Deegan as President and Chief Executive. During WWII, over 5,400 ships were built using Gibbs & Cox designs, including the famous cargo-carrying Liberty ships. Later it designed the SS United States.

The company’s designs have now been used for 24 classes of combatants and nearly 7,000 vessels, including more recent notable projects such as the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships, and the Constellation-class frigates planned for the U.S. Navy.

Leidos says the deal will add capabilities and deepen customer relationships in the “attractive” maritime market, where Leidos admits it is under-penetrated. The acquisition will also add valuable engineering talent, including naval architects and digital engineers.

Leidos notes that the acquisition will better position the company for long-term growth, including in the maritime unmanned market – a market requiring tight integration of ship design and autonomy systems, says Leidos.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of this year and is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

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